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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Edward Ring

Retiree with $183,690 Annual Pension Attacks Pension Critics

“Critics of public employee retirement benefits are engaging in hyperbole and pointing to potholes as evidence that millions of elderly Californians should be stripped of their retirement savings.” Brian Rice,president,Sacramento Area Fire Fighters, Sacramento Bee, June 2, 2015

Notwithstanding the possibility that saying pension reformers want to see “millions of elderly Californians stripped of their retirement savings” is itself “hyperbole,” Brian Rice’s recent Sacramento Bee submission requires a detailed rebuttal. Rice’s piece, entitled “Pensions aren’t being paid at expense of filling potholes,” was in response to a study written by Stephen Eide and released by the Manhattan Institute entitled “California Crowd-Out, How Rising Retirement Benefit Costs Threaten Municipal Services,” published in April 2015.

Rice leads off by attempting to link the Manhattan Institute to the supposedly… Read More

Edward Ring

How Does “Zero-point-Eight at Sixty-Eight” Sound for a Pension Plan?

The economy is picking up steam. State, city and county employees have willingly accepted millions upon millions of dollars in cuts to their pensions. California’s largest pension fund has recouped every single investment penny it lost from the Great Recession.So I thought perhaps California police officers, teachers, firefighters, and other public employees could finally exhale. I hoped we could finally enjoy relief from daily attacks for the modest pensions we count on for retirement security. Buddy Magor, Peace Officers Research Association of California Public CEO, January 27, 2014, “Stop Blaming Public Employee Pensions for Problems

Whether or not the economy is “picking up steam” at a rate sufficient to rescue California’s financially challenged public sector pension funds is a debate that is by no means over. But let’s consider Mr. Magor’s other point regarding the “modest pensions we count on for retirement security.”

By now everyone should be familiar with the so-called “three-at-fifty”… Read More